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3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (282 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Cissy Houston Narrator: Robin Miles Publisher: HarperCollins Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2013 ISBN: 9780062264374
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Remembering Whitney: My Story of Love, Loss, and the Night the Music Stopped is written by Whitney Houston's mother, Cissy Houston, a stellar Gospel singer in her own right who performed backup for such greats as Aretha Franklin, Van Morrison and Elvis Presley. However, Cissy was always aware of the price of fame, something that she saw in the people that she worked with. That's why she was determined to live a normal life which was moderately successful but didn't put her in the public eye all the time.

However, as she points out, her daughter, Whitney, chose a different path, and Cissy continues to wonder if she should have discouraged Nippy (her nickname for Whitney) to step out of the limelight while she still could. The book shows how Cissy and Whitney weren't that close, and Cissy had a stern attitude which didn't always invite confidences. Even when Cissy finally showed up at Whitney's house in 2005 with the police and forced her daughter into rehab, she felt that Whitney resented her for this action. She writes, "I think some part of her couldn't stand that I had made her reveal her worst side to me."

Unlike others, Cissy doesn't entirely blame Whitney's marriage to Bobby Brown for her ultimate deterioration; Whitney was already doing drugs by the time Bobby came into her life. This is not to say that Cissy is a big fan of Bobby's; she was especially offended by his number, "Humpin' Around." But according to her, Whitney was her own person who made her own choices for which no one else can be blamed.

This is a gripping account of Whitney Houston's descent into drug use and her deteriorating mental processes as she became more successful. Whitney was larger than life and also remote, pushing away people's concern about what was happening to her. This, combined with Cissy's own no-nonsense attitude created some distance between the mother and daughter. But the mother's love for her daughter shines through the memoir anyway, as does her regret that she wasn't able to help her daughter overcome her demons.

Emily "Cissy" Houston was the eighth child of Nitcholas and Delia Mae Drinkard, born in Newark, NJ. Cissy's mother died when she was five and her father when she was eighteen, after which she went to live with her older sister, Lee Warwick, mother to Dionne and Dee Dee Warwick. Cissy was married twice, once to Freddy Garland with whom she had a son and the second time to John Russell Houston Jr. a Newark City Administrator and Entertainment Executive, with whom she had her daughter Whitney. Despite the fact that Cissy worked mostly as a backup singer, she has been the recipient of a Grammy for Best Traditional Soul Gospel Album.

Honest and heartbreaking, a mother's story of tears, joy, and her greatest love of all—her daughter, Whitney

On the eve of the 2012 Grammy Awards, the world learned of a stunning tragedy: Whitney Houston, unquestionably one of the most remarkable and powerful voices in all of music, had been silenced forever. Over the weeks and months that followed, family, friends, and fans alike tried to understand how such a magnificent talent and beautiful soul could have been taken so early and so unexpectedly. Glamorous and approachable, captivating and sweet, Whitney had long ago won the hearts of America, but in recent years her tumultuous personal life had grabbed as many headlines as her soaring vocal talents. Her sudden death left behind not only a legacy of brilliance, but also painful questions with no easy answers.

Now, for the first time, the beloved superstar's mother, Cissy Houston—a gospel legend in her own right—relates the full, astonishing scope of the pop icon's life and career. From Whitney's earliest days singing in the church choir to her rapid ascent to the pinnacles of music stardom, from her string of number one hits to her topping the Hollywood box office, Cissy recounts her daughter's journey to becoming one of the most popular and successful artists of all time. Setting the record straight, Cissy also speaks candidly about Whitney's struggles in the limelight, revealing the truth about her turbulent marriage to singer Bobby Brown, her public attempts to regain her celebrated voice, and the battle with drugs that ultimately proved too much.

In this poignant and tender tribute to her "Nippy," Cissy summons all her strength to reveal not only Whitney the superstar, but also Whitney as a sweet girl, a bright-eyed young woman, and a deeply caring mother. Complete with never-before-seen family photographs, Remembering Whitney is an intimate, heartfelt portrait of one of our most revered artists, from the woman who cherished her most.

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Quotes & Awards

  • A New York Times bestseller
  • A USA Today bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly bestseller
  • A Wall Street Journal bestseller
  • A Washington Post bestseller

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alona Perlin | 1/31/2014

    " I enjoyed reading about Whitney from her mother's account. I really pictured her in a different way and was pleasantly surprised by the way she was portrayed. I would have liked to hear more about the night she died and what exactly contributed to her death. I heard that it was more than drugs that killed her. I would have also liked to hear more about her career, relationship with Bobby and her daughter. Overall, it was a good book. It was a heart-warming and beautiful tribute to one of the best singers of all time! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Joe | 1/26/2014

    " What an amazing, honest portrayal of the life of Whitney and her family. She was such an incredible, beautiful talent and Cissy's truthful memoir makes her loss, everyone's loss. I will never forget the time I saw them on the train from Newark to NYC - it was just after the release of her album in 1985 - she was so incredibly striking - it was difficult not to stare. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 LJ | 1/24/2014

    " Great book! I didn't know much about Cissy at all (I was only a few years old when Whitney's debut album dropped), so I learned a lot about their family while reading this. Cissy is a funny lady (she cracked me up several times), I pray that in writing this book it helped her heal from her great loss. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Beth Heggan | 1/23/2014

    " Too much about her mothers's life. Didn't keep my interest. Didn't finish it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rhina M. Finley | 1/22/2014

    " I know that it had to hurt Cissy Houston lossing her daughter, and it broke my heart to see her mother's face on tv. I cringe everytime I hear a mother lose her child. I knew it took alot for her to write this book. I don't want to remember Whitney for her habits, but for the good things. Her beautiful voice, her giving to mutiple charties, seeing soldiers oversees. Her being a mother, daughter and sister. We are slaves to whatever controls us, at times I felt like in the book her mother was in denial and yet sometimes honest that her daughter had her battles. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carol Short | 1/19/2014

    " I thought this was a beautifully written book buy a mother that left her daughter very much I laughed I cried it is just a wonderful but I totally recommend it "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Sel | 12/21/2013

    " This book is largely about Cissy with a little bit of Whitney thrown in, however, everything she says about Whitney is always tied back to herself. I was under the impression that this book was supposed to be a tribute to the late great Whitney Houston and more about her story so I was disappointed. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kathy-Diane | 12/10/2013

    " Sad. From page one, this book was sad. I don't think Cissy Houston even realizes how much fame distorted her relationship witn her daughter. I doubt that celebrities who become the meal ticket for their family can ever trust that what they share with them is a healthy give and take. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 11/24/2013

    " Cissy's book on her daughter's life doesnt give any new and shocking details or give any explanation of her downward spiral of a career, but it was well written and a good read for any Whitney fan. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Samantha Fowkes | 9/24/2013

    " I am surprised by all the positive reviews for this book. Nothing new was learned in this book. Over half of it told the history of Cissi Houston's career and in the end I just felt sad that Cissi didn't really know Whitney at all. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Deb | 5/10/2013

    " This was a pretty good book. Told from mothers point of view it is honest about what she witnessed and what she didnt witness with her daughter. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Celeste | 3/23/2013

    " good book starts out slow a lot of coasts life then whitneys but still liked book "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sharon | 3/13/2013

    " most parents of addicts are in the dark because that's where the addict want you to be & Cissy was no different .She is extremely honest in her telling of her family story & I find that is rare in the public eye .I enjoyed the insight .Worth a read if interested in music "

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About the Author

Cissy Houston is a Grammy Award–winning soul and gospel singer and the mother of the late superstar Whitney Houston. She gained fame as part of the Drinkards, a family gospel group, and revolutionized the “Background Industry” as the founder and leader of the Sweet Inspirations, a well-respected vocal group who provided background vocals for such artists as Luther Vandross, Wishbone Ash, Aretha Franklin, Dusty Springfield, and Elvis Presley. She later enjoyed a successful career as a solo artist. Cissy grew up in Newark, New Jersey, where she raised her family and still lives.

About the Narrator

Robin Miles, named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine, has twice won the prestigious Audie Award for Best Narration, an Audie Award for directing, and many Earphones Awards. Her film and television acting credits include The Last Days of Disco, Primary Colors, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Law & Order, New York Undercover, National Geographic’s Tales from the Wild, All My Children, and One Life to Live. She regularly gives seminars to members of SAG and AFTRA actors’ unions, and in 2005 she started Narration Arts Workshop in New York City, offering audiobook recording classes and coaching. She holds a BA degree in theater studies from Yale University, an MFA in acting from the Yale School of Drama, and a certificate from the British American Drama Academy in England.